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Author was in his 17th year; but tho' thefe circumftances might apologize to a friend for its imperfections, what bufinefs has a piece that needs fuch an apology in public? With merit, relative to the age or fituation of the Author, the public has no concern. If the lamplighter's laft Chriftmas-prefent to his masters and miftreffes, had been written by a child of fix years old, it would have been extraordinary; but doggerel would not for that reafon have given the pleafure of poetry. The poems that Pope wrote when he was a boy would never have been published, if the age of the Author had been thought a neceffary apology for imperfection.
Art. 31. The Court of Thefpis; being a Collection of the moft admired Prologues and Epilogues that have appeared for many Years; written by the most approved Wits of the Age. 12mo. I s. 6 d. fewed. Richardfon and Urquhart. 1769.
A book containing nothing but prologues and epilogues, detached from the feveral dramas to which they refpectively belong, having no merit of originality to recommend it, muft depend entirely, for acceptance from the public, on the taste of the collector, and the completeness of the felection. This compilement we apprehend is very deficient in both thefe refpects. With regard to choice, indeed, it is a matter which depends on ideas of excellence, for which we have no ftandard; but what excufe will the Editor offer, for omitting the much-admired prologue fpoken by Mr. Garrick at the opening of Drury-Lane Theatre in 1747? and what apology, for this omiffion, can he make, in particular, to Mr. Garrick, to whom his collection is dedicated?
Art. 32. Richard in Cyprus, a Tragedy. By T. Teres. 8vo. I s. 6d. Elyth.
The Author of this tragedy appears to be a man of good fenfe, but he fails in genius, judgment and tafte.
Art. 33. The Favourite, an Hiftorical Tragedy. 8vo. 1 s. 6d. Bell.
An impudent and defpicable attempt to introduce a ftupid play, founded on the intrigues of Sejanus, to public notice, by means of the public difcontent. Such wretches as the Editor of this dull, tho' ftolen, tragedy, deferve the fame punishment with the robbers at a fire.
Art. 34. Amintas, an English Opera, as performed at Covent Garden. dvo. I s. Lowndes.
Founded on the ftory of Alexander's raifing the poor gardener* to the throne of Sidon, in the room of Strato, the tyrant, whom he had depofed. Metaftafio was the firft who thought of thus emafculating the Macedonian hero; and, fince him, feveral of our English poetaf ters of the drama, apeing the ingenious Italian as Alexander's courtiers mimicked his wry neck, have alfo prefumed to cut down this il luftrious character to an opera finger. Alexander the Great, Mr. Reinhold!"-Was ever military glory fo vilely degraded as in fuch
Art. 35. The Brothers: a Comedy. As it is performed at the Theatre Royal in Covent-Garden. 8vo. I s. 6d. Griffin.
* See Quintus Curtius, B. iv. Ch. 1.
The Author of this play plumes himself on its being an original↑.He is much in the right; for there is nothing, that we know of, like it, among all the comic productions of the English theatre, It hath, however, had a good run; and, perhaps, not without reafon. We have not feen it performed, but, we are told, it does not að amifs though, moft certainly, to ufe another town phrafe, it does not read at all.
Report gives this piece to the author of The Summer's Tale, a Comedy of three acts: fee Review, vol. xxxiii.
Art 36. The Spanish Lady, a Mufical Entertainment, in Two Acts. Founded on the plan of the old Ballad. As performed at Covent-Garden. 8vo. 1s. Cooper.
The well known ballad of The Spanish Lady who woo'd an English man,' is here wrought up into a mufical drama, in which the fimplicity of the old fong is well preferved; at the fame time that the piece, though it fhews but few marks of genius in the compofition, is not ill adapted to the entertainment of a modern audience.
Art. 37. The Reward of Virtue; or the Hiftory of Mifs Polly Graham. Intermixed with feveral curious and interesting Incidents in the Lives of feveral Perfons of both Sexes, remarkable for the fingular Adventures which befel them. To which is added, a brief Defcription of Bounty-Hall, and its Inhabitants. 12mo. 2 s. 6 d.
A jumble of improbable and ill-connected tales.
Art. 38. Fatal Obedience; or the Hiftory of Mr. Freeland. Izmo. 2 Vols. 6 s. Noble.
Novels in general are calculated for youthful readers, but fome are proper alfo for the perufal of parents; and among thofe of the last clafs, may be mentioned the affecting hiftory of Mr. Freeland. Age has its vices as well as youth; but the danger of infifting on either, is the affording the other an opportunity of sheltering its follies under the cenfure paffed on the oppofite extreme. If matrimonial bargains are fhewn to be productive of fatal confequences, the principle is ufed as a fanction for yielding to hafty blind attachments, which are equally deftructive of conjugal felicity: if the folly of the latter is fhewn, it is ufed as an argument, aided by age and experience, for making money the only inducement, where affection and fuitable perfonal circumftances alone can enfure domeftick felicity. Thus much however is clear, that the parties themfelves are the perfons mostly interefted in matrimonial connexions, and though affections on either fide may be misplaced, no marriage can be juftifiable where both or either party are averfe to it. We must not enter into the particulars of this ftory; which nevertheless is not ill told, and will greatly intereft any Reader, whofe nature is not deftitute of tender feelings for the diftreffes of other people.
From no man's jeft he draws felonious praife,
Art. 39. The French Lady. A Novel. 12mo. 2 Volumes. 63. Lowndes.
An amusing ftory, but rather abounding too much with chit-chat. Art. 40. The Ladies Mifcellany. Containing, I. Entertaining Novels. II, Family Pictures: or, Domeftic Life, exhibited and contrafted in various fituations. III. Flights of Fancy: or, Original Effays in Profe and Verfe. IV. Modern Characters displayed: or, Dialogues of the Living. The whole calculated for the Amusement and Inftruction of the British Fair. 12mo. 2 Volumes. 6 s. Lowndes.
An infipid medley.
MISCELLANEOUS. Art. 41. The beauties of hiftory; or Pictures of Virtue and Vice, draws from real Life: defigned for the Inftruction and Entertainment of Youth. By L.-M. Stretch. M. A. 12mo. 2 vols. 6 s. Dilly. The nature of this compilation, may be readily apprehended at firft view from the title. Mr. Stretch has collected from antient and modern authors, the most remarkable inftances of virtue and vice claffed under the refpective heads alphabetically: each head or fubdivifion of the work is introduced with general reflections, of which the fucceeding inftances are given as illuftrations. The whole may be confidered as an inftructive and entertaining miscellany. Art. 42. The Lovers: or, The Memoirs of Lady Sarah BCountess of P. Published by Mr. Treyfac de Vergy, Counfellor of the Parliament of Paris. 8vo. 5s. Rofon. 1769. We have perused, with great indignation, a series of forged letters, written in the names and characters of feveral perfons of diftinction, and founded on the ftory of Lady Sarah By's elopement with Lord William G-n. So vile an abuse of the prefs cannot be too highly refented; efpecially as the fhameless Scribbler who has thus dared to impofe on the public, has had the additional effrontery to fign his name, not only in print, but alfo with his dirty pen, in the title-pages of this fraudulent production:-a production which is no lefs deteftable for its licentious principles, than for its scandalous impofture.
After thus allowing fcope to our (we truft) laudable refentment of the dishoneft authorship of this foreign Scandal-monger*, it is not unpleafant, by the way, to obferve how uniformly the Mejdames By and Py, and Mers. Lord William G-n, Capt. F— and Sir Charles By, all write in exactly the fame flippant and affected ftyle; and fill more pleafant to hear them all expreffing themfelves in broken English.-When De Vergy writes English as De Vergy the Frenchman, we eafily pafs over any flight imperfections of language;
* De Vergy is an adventurer from the continent, who has, for fome years, honoured this country with his refidence; and feems to have taken up the trade (in aid of his counsellorship in the parliament of Paris) of fcribbling, in its moft difreputable branches. Such pefts of fociety but too well juftify what was faid of our emporium, by one of our own fatirists:
"London, the needy villain's general home,
The common-fhore of Paris and of Rome."
but when he perfonates a British nobleman, or a lady of the court of St. James's, the figure he makes is prepofterous, and would be a laughable object, were it not that his impudence and immorality deferve chastisement rather than ridicule.
Art. 43. Another Eftimate of the Manners and Principles of the prefent Times. 8vo. 2 S. Kearly. 1769.
This author fuppofes the character of the present time to be general hypocrify, but
His arguments directly tend,
Against the point he would defend.'
He fays our people of quality almoft univerfally vaunt of their feductions and boaft of their fucceffes even though common fenfe confiders them as fcandalous, below contempt: he adds, that bad nobles who enjoy great eftates, are the greatest enemies to fociety, because, to other mifchiefs is added, a remarkable bad and vicious example.
But furely he that boasts of his vices is not a hypocrite; the bad noble, who gives a bad example cannot be fuppofed to conceal his cha
The author's book is wholly declamatory, and does in no degree anfwer to its title; he fays, our great men are both rapacious and profufe, that their entertainments are given not for the pleasure of fociety, but for oftentation, and the pride of envious emulation; that they are guilty of gaming and debauchery, and have made matrimonial infidelity fo common, and treated it fo lightly, that it is ceafing to be infamous. He fays our diftributors of juftice are venal; that inftead of executing, they alter the laws; and that a caufe is not fuccefsful in proportion as it is equitable, but as it is well feed our practitioners of the law foment differences, and deftroy liberty, property and unanimity. Our juftices of peace are blockheads. "The lives of our clergy, fays this author, give a lie to their leffons," though their precepts are not better than their example: "there will be feen, fays he, as much folly, diforder, and irreligion in their families and focieties as any others: they are eminent neither for good example or precept."
He proceeds with common-place raillery against our army and navy, our phyficians, gentlemen, tradefmen and mechanics, all tending to contradict his firft pofition, that our national characteristic is bypocrify, afferting that our immorality is grofs and evident. Animadverfion would be thrown away upon a work fo futile and inconfiftent; we shall therefore difmifs it with one extract as a fpecimen, that the author cannot always fee his way through a fingle fentence, but, however short, lofes fight of the beginning before he gets to the end; "The prefent ftate of the foldiery, fays he, was always bad enough."
Art. 44. A Review of the Conduct of Pafcal Paoli, addressed to the Right Honourable William Beckford, &c. 8vo. 18. Bladon.
Several base news-paper attacks having been made, by the feribling wretches of a party, who ftick at nothing, on the character of the truly refpectable and noble Italian, fince his arrival in this country, fome honeft Grubean (there is honour even in Grubftreet) hath drawn his indignant quill in the vindication of injured worth and innocence. It is indeed, but a piece of authorifm, that hath been REV. Dec. 1769.
produced on this uncommon occafion, but it is one of the mo ga rous of the kind; and, therefore, we fhould be forry to hear a the poor pamphleteer is a lofer by his publication: yet there is much reafon to fear that a defence of virtue, will not go off like a i dalous libel, a fecret hiftory, or a criminal converfation-piece. Art.. An Inquiry, whether the Study of the ancient Langespes neceffary Branch of modern Education? wherein, by the We, Obfervations are made on a late Performance, entitled, Effays ce Origin of Colieges, &c. 8vo. Is. Edinburgh printed, and fut by Knox in London.
his Inquiry clearly fhews the Author to be a person of good ni and found judgment. He confiders what thofe circumftances are, wi regard to the ancient writers, which ought to recommend them to ftway of the moderns in general; fhews that the prefent ftate of literatur in this country renders the ftudy of the ancient claffics particularly useft. and makes it appear, from a deduction of facts, that the study of the Great and Latin authors has, in every country of Europe, been attencet with good taffe, and produced excellent writers in all the differet: fpecies of compofition; and that, on the contrary, with the decay of ancient learning, juft taste and fine writing have likewife decayed He eruires into the peculiar circumftances of Greece and Roze, which gave them fo remarkable an advantage in point of literary me rt; and endeavours to prove, that it is impoffible for us to receive ruch dvantage from ancient authors without understanding the Greek and Lain languages.-In an advertisement prefixed to his Inquiry, he makes fome very pertinent obfervations on the Eu the Origin of Colleges, c. fee our laft month's Catalogue) and thews clearly that there is no reafon to fuppofe that any of the profeffors of the university of Glafgow was concerned in that publication. Art. 46. A View of the Origin, Nature, and Ufe of Jettons, or Cornters. efpecially thofe commonly known by the Name of Black Money, azi Abbey pieces: with a Sketch of the Manner of reckoning with them, and its Affinity with that of the Roman Abacus, the Chinese Soan Fan, and the Ruffian Shtchota. With Copper-plates. By Thomas Snelling. Folio. 7 s. 6d. Snelling. 1769. Thofe who have a tafte for this kind of learning, will be no less ple: fed with this proof of Mr. Snelling's abilities, than with the other compilations of this accurate and indefatigable Medallift.
Art. 7. A Refutation of a falfe Afperfion thrown out upon Samuel Vaughan, Ef in the Public Ledger of Aug. 23, 1769. 8vo. 6 d. Jilly.
Relates to certain difputes and litigations which Mr. Vaughan formerly had, in Jamaica, with one Little John, the mafter of a fhip; alfo a Mr. Eufle; a Mr. Jones, an attorney; and William Chriftopher, a deputy marshal's man. Some mention of these affairs having appeared in the news-paper above-mentioned, with intent, as Mr. V. apprehended, to injure his reputation, [already too much brought into question, on account of his late famous overture to the Duke of Grafton] he has, in his own vindication, published this recital of the feveral matters and things alluded to:-but with which we fhall no farther trouble our Readers. Altercations of fuch private, perfonal concern, have no title to any diftinguished place in a literary journal; although